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Greeting Letter to Latvian Friends from H.E. Ambassador Tang Songgen upon Arrival in the Republic of Latvia
2023-06-09 14:00

Dear colleagues and friends,

Today, I am honored to set foot in the beautiful country of Latvia, an amber in the Baltic region, and posted as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to the Republic of Latvia since our two countries established diplomatic relations in 1991.

I would like to express sincere gratitude for the kindness and friendliness I have received upon my arrival, and for the considerate arrangement made by the State Protocol of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia. I would also like to extend warm greetings from Chinese government and people to Latvian government and people, as well as Chinese citizens and compatriots living in Latvia.

Latvia is a country with impressive history and culture. As characteristic heritages of the Baltic region, the Latvian language has been well protected and inherited, and Latvia's traditional songs, dances and folk music have always enjoyed a high reputation. I learned that more and more Latvian friends are living in China as well-known scholars, artists or celebrities who are making Latvia better-known to Chinese people. 

It is also very impressive that Latvia excels in sports, especially in basketball and winter sports. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate on the Latvian Men’s National Ice Hockey team for winning the historic bronze medal at the World Ice Hockey Championship recently. And, China's national bobsleigh and luge teams have been trained and participated in the games in Latvia for years.

China and Latvia share similar experiences and feelings in history despite of different social systems. We both cherish national independence and sovereignty, have strong national pride and firm determination to defend national interests, and respect each other's core interests. China was one of the first countries to recognize the restoration of the independence of Latvia. And Latvia explicitly acknowledged in the Joint Communique on the Establishment of China-Latvia Diplomatic Relations in 1991 that the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal Government of China and Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory, which has been reaffirmed since 1994, as the political foundation of our bilateral relations.

At the same time, both of our two countries and peoples pursue peace, development and security, share common interests, and have enormous potential for pragmatic cooperation in various fields. We have maintained high-level political interactions. Our bilateral trade volume has grown from a few million euros in the past to over one billion euros today. Latvian beeswax, Black Balsam and Stenders bath products are very popular in China, Rilakdekor mineral paint, Groglass high-performance products, and birch wood have successfully entered the Chinese market and demonstrated a consistent pattern of growth. Friendly cooperation has brought benefits to our two countries and peoples’ well-being.

At present, the two sides are planning for more bilateral exchanges and cooperation in all aspects, including between the two governments, legislative bodies, political parties and sub-national governments. China has proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Global Development Initiative (GDI), Global Security Initiative (GSI), Global Civilization Initiative (GCI). Chinese modernization, characterized by high-quality development and high-level opening-up, will provide more opportunities for other countries in the world, including Latvia.

As the new Chinese Ambassador to Latvia, I hope that China-Latvia relations, through joint efforts from both sides, will further develop in a steady and sound way, setting a model of showing mutual respect, seeking common ground while shelving differences and win-win cooperation between countries of different size, thus contributing to prosperity and security of our two countries and the world at large, with a view to promoting the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Thank you.

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